The Pittsburgh Pirates keep pressing, but it’s going to take a heck of an effort down the stretch for them to find a wildcard. Down 8 games in the NL Central, plans to win the division are out the window. However, they still have a chance to grab the final wildcard in the National League. Easy? 5 games behind, they are going to have their work cut out for them.
Possible? A lot can change between now and the end of September, so very possible. They have three teams waiting in line ahead of them, and then the Brewers hold on to the final wildcard currently. The Dodgers have slipped back to 2.5 out of a wildcard due to a cold run they’ve hit. They blew a 2-1 lead going into the 9th last night, as they wasted a gem by Kershaw Monday night.
The Dodgers have to find a way to breakout of the dirty taste in their mouths. If they don’t win after bringing in all of this talent, notably Manny Machado, it’s going to be a giant waste of a season. It’s World Series or bust for the Dodgers, and at the moment, it isn’t even looking clear if they will make the postseason. They have to worry about that before anything.
For the Pirates, if they didn’t start so slowly, we may not be talking about them having to make a comeback. They were not playing good baseball. The Twins haven’t been playing good baseball at any point this season. There are zero positives that the Twins can take from this season. It started on a sour note with the Ervin Santana injury, but that alone shouldn’t have derailed them so much. The Lance Lynn failure didn’t help matters either. The Pirates will turn to Jameson Taillon tonight, while the Twins will go with Jake Odorizzi, who hasn’t helped much this season, too. Head below for our free Pirates vs. Twins pick.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Minnesota Twins Pick
Jameson Taillon (9-8, 3.63 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (4-7, 4.50 ERA)
The Twins brought in Lynn and Odorizzi in an attempt to bolster their rotation to get past the Wild Card Round. What a failure that’s been, as the Twins aren’t even going to be playing in any postseason game. Both regressed from their previous numbers and haven’t been able to help out much. Lynn was traded to the Yankees where he’s been solid since arriving in the Bronx.
Odorizzi has been continuing to fight through the struggles. He enters with an ERA of 5.54 and 1.54 WHIP in his previous three starts. His ERA is about 1.00 higher at home as well, with a 5.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. He rang his pitch count up to 101 pitches in just 4.2 innings of work in his last start. When you have a bullpen that is 25th in the majors with an ERA of 4.67, an early exit by the starter is best to be avoided.
Jameson Taillon has been sharp since the end of May. Taillon hasn’t allowed more than 4 runs per start since May 27th. It’s been smooth sailing for him since that initial bump in the road. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in four of his last five starts and goes into Minnesota with an ERA of 2.78 in his last three starts. Note that Taillon has been better on the road with a 3.39 ERA compared to 3.90 at home. He should be able to get it done to give the Pirates their 5th win in 7 games.